Semliki National Park, Wildlife & Hot springs in Uganda
Semliki National Park is suitably located in a distant region of Bundibugyo District called Bwamba County Western Uganda. It was officially recognized as a National Park in October 1993 hence one of the initial National parks in Uganda. It comprises of unique bio diversity including both numerous species of Flora and Fauna as well as birds. It
lies along the border of Uganda with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with the Rwenzori Mountains in the South East and Lake Albert in the North. The terrain around the park is generally flat ranging from 670 to 760 m (2,200 to 2,490 ft) ASL.
Climate and Weather
The park receives moderate rainfall amounts of 1,250 mm (49 in) with high volumes from the months of March to May as well as September to December. During these periods, flooding of some areas in the park occurs.
The temperature varies due to the strategic location of the park from 18 to 30 °C (64 to 86 °F) daily.
There are two watering places around the park where numerous wildlife animals transfer to to drink water and these include; the Semuliki and Lamia Rivers. There are two hot springs as well i.e the male and female hot srings also referred to as Sempaya Hot springs in a hot mineral coated swamp.
The hot springs are a very ideal safari place to go to while you are here and they attract various bird species as well as wildlife animals that come here to taste the salty water of the springs.
Activities to Do in the Park
Game drives in Semliki National park are a very exciting safari activity to take on due to the number of tracks that are in the park on which travelers can transfer on to view the various wildlife animals that inhabit the vegetation around the park. There are 3 tracks traversing the beautiful Savannah grassland of the Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve and on these animals like the Savannah elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, warthog, Uganda Kob, pygmy hippopotami, bush babies and leopards can be viewed. The game drives in the park are scheduled according i.e in the Morning, Afternoon and Night where you will spot various nocturnal wild species like the white-tailed mongoose.
Bird watching at Semliki National Park is very exceptional to all birders’ all over the world looking for remarkable birding Adventure experiences. The park’s best birding spots i.e Sempaya, Kirumia River and Ntandi offer unique experiences and the birds that can be watched here include; the White-crested Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Piping Hornbill, Yellow-throated Nicator, Great blue and Ross’s Turacos as well as the Shoebill Stork which is seen along the shores of Lake Albert.
Hot Springs Encounter
The park offers unique Adventures to travelers who transfer to experience the beautiful mysterious Sempaya Hot springs which are also referred to as the Male and Female Hot springs. These are amazing to explore due to your involvement when you carry your plantain and eggs to deep them into the gushing water from beneath making them ready to eat.
Along the trails to the hot springs, you will have beautiful views at the black and white Colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked Mangabeys as well as birds. The tree house en-route offers an aerial view at the park.
Hiking and Nature Walks
The park gives travelers beautiful hiking and Nature Walks encounters. Te Trails we have in the park include;
- The 13km Kirumia Trail which proceeds through the middle of the forest towards the Semliki River and takes a period of 8 hours to finish. It starts at 8:00 am and perfect for birders.
- The 11km Red Monkey Track which proceeds along the Eastern boundary of the park offering remarkable views of the rare deBrazza’s monkey and ends at the Semliki River.
- The 8km Sempaya Nature Trail which offers you amazing views of the Sempaya Hot Springs. It takes a period of 2-4 hours to finis and can occur both in the Mornings and Afternoons.
Cultural encounters at Semliki National Park are carried out as you visit to explore the unique Bata people/ community. When you get there, you will learn more about their way of life and survival since the ancient days. They will elaborate to you various ways of how they use the forest to meet their basic needs like food, shelter, medicine and tools despite the fact that the 21st century has changed this.
These will perform through Music, Dance and Drama their unique traditions at Ntandi as well as handmade crafts for sale to take as souvenir.
A boma/cultural village has been constructed so that the Batwa to demonstrate the way they used to survive in the forest before civilization.